BACK TO SCHOOL IS BITTER SWEET

16 Aug

For me, it is still summer time… 

The day was beautiful.  As I walked the streets, I was caught in a sea of people that prevented my feet from deliberately being placed one before the other. Instead I was being carried by the wave like motion of the sea of people. I clutched my bag tightly in my arms as my slender frame was pinned helplessly against the broad shoulders of a woman as she noisily screamed at the pedestrians in her path to hurriedly make way for her.  I gasped for air as the pungent odour of combine body scents infiltrated my nostrils.  I wanted to sneeze but couldn’t.  All around horns honked loudly; desperate vendors begged to be patronized; loud music deafened the ear; loud chatter and laughter escaped the lips of people going about their businesses.  As the large woman who preceded me made her escape from the sea of people, so did I.  I looked up and inhale deeply. Fresh air never tasted so good.

The sun was HOT! I slipped into a store.  It was full. Shocked, annoyed and then an expression of realization swept across my face as it dawned on me. 

For me it was still summer…for others, it was back to school time.

hmmm..Is this a familiar scene?

Myriad of emotions can be associated this time of the year. (Excitement, anxiety, sadness, etc…)

  • Parents may be excited because their little girls & boys are going into new classes come September. An indication that they are growing up.
  • Some are excited because they are one year closer to stop buying uniforms and a great deal of books… or so they think.
  • Vendors or store managers are excited at the prospect of making huge profits.
  • Parents are excited to get the kids out of the house
  • Some teachers are not amused
  • Some parents/guardians may not be so happy because of the amount of money they are about to spend
  • Some children may be happy/sad because they will either get what they want or they may not.
  • Some students may be excited about returning to school; others may just be ready to conveniently become ill.
  • Some may not be so happy because they do not have the amount of money they think they are supposed to spend.
  • Some vendors may not be as lucky as others to be patronized as they are numerous.

The preparation can be extremely expensive as there are certain things we believe we MUST buy. But as you go through this phase just a few reminders:

  • I hope you made a budget: stick to it!
  • Does your child REALLY need a new pair of shoes at this time?  Do not be a slave to tradition that says a child must always receive new gears to go back to school. If your child ended the school year with a pair of shoe that is in excellent condition, and your financial situation does not permit you purchase a new pair at that time, then do not buy it.  The same goes for the bag pack and uniforms.
  • Books! These can cost you a fortune.  Some of the books will be given to students by the school others you will have to purchase. Do not be afraid or ashamed to exchange or purchase used texts once they are in good condition. You could save BIG!   If are unable to purchase them all at once, purchase what you are able t but make sure there is a plan to purchase the remaining set as SOON as possible.
  • Do not give in to the pressure of your children.  Kids will be kids. They will articulate all the fancy things they desire especially if their friends have similar things. They will turn on the charm and you may be very tempted BUT, remember you make the money and you know your budget.  Succumbing to the charms of your kids could be your easiest path to financial slum. What do you want them to learn about financial management? You could start here.  So the ball is in your court. Play it right.
  • While you are spending, make sure you have plan for how your child will attend school at least for the first month.   Notice I said plan? Maybe you do not currently have the funds but you must have a plan as to how to accumulate it.
  • Pep talk.  Share with them the progress of preparation.  Some you may have to give that talk as to why they will not be receiving a new pair of shoes/bag/uniform at this time.  Remember, this is a good opportunity to teach your child about good financial management.

I’m sure this would have been more useful if it was posted earlier BUT, it is never too late to take your finances under control.   As they saying goes, it is never too late for a shower of rain.

I hope you my readers will find this useful.   By the way, as I wrote this, I recalled some of my bitter sweet my back to school experiences.  Many times I cried.  Many times I screamed with excitement.  What about you?

Please, take a minute and share what was bitter sweet about your back to school experiences.

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One Response to “BACK TO SCHOOL IS BITTER SWEET”

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  1. BACK TO SCHOOL IS BITTER SWEET | educatordorrainereidinspires - August 16, 2013

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